If you have just started your online retail business and your sales suddenly spikes, you need to be ready to up your inventory management game. You do not have to be techy. All you need is access to the right tools to help you in tracking and monitoring the movement of your stocks.
Before we delve on the tools used in inventory management, we need to know how you manage your inventory. The idea is to understand your current process to adapt better ways to control your inventory.
The items for sale of small home-based online shops are usually stored in spare rooms or the garage. In spite of this, you should start a system to handle your inventory. Here are some factors to consider.
You should be aware of the storage requirement of your items. Non-food items are not as sensitive as food items when storage needs are concerned. Knowing the storage specification of your item will prevent spoilage and waste.
You should be wary of pest wherever you store your goods. It will be a big dent on your income if some of your items are lost to damage due to pests. You can schedule a visit from the pest control company so that they can assess your warehouse before you move-in your inventory. We use this company for our monthly pest management inspections, check them out if you live in Charlotte NC.
Storage Materials to be used
Most items in your stock will be delivered in a box. Consider transferring your items to another container, such as plastic ones with cover, to protect your items from dust and insects. It is also durable compared to carton boxes. Some plastics are also transparent to allow you to view the contents without opening it.
Purchase good-sized shelves to provide more room to store your products. Make sure that you get something durable and stable to prevent it from breaking as you stash more stocks on it.
Now that we know the things you need to consider on your physical storage, it is time to learn how to move your inventory efficiently. It is easy to stash them and only remember them when they are ordered. It can be okay when you only have a few items to sell. But you should start having a systematized way of storing your inventory to take away the stress when you need an individual item shipped.
Here are some ideas that you can apply in managing your stock.
- Make it habit to tag new items with a unique inventory code. It will make it easier to add them to your inventory system that way.
- Store fast moving items, the ones frequently ordered, where you can easily access it. It could be in a room closer to where you process the shipping of orders. By doing so, you will eliminate the need to go to the main stockroom to fulfill an order.
- If there is a new item ordered, move some stock of that item from your garage room to space where you process the shipping. It will save you time from going back to the main stock room when a reorder of that item is received.
- Consider renting an off-site storage facility if you no longer have space in your house to accommodate new inventory. You can use it to store seasonal or slow moving items to give way to latest or frequently ordered items in your garage.